Posted by: Gaya | December 14, 2011

The Monster : Killing in cold blood strangers at whim

“Oggi piange il cuore Firenze” (The heart of Florence weeps today)

Yesterday was a divine tuscan sunny day. The tiled roofs outside my tall-glass paned kitchen door glowed russet-warm against a blue sky. This is rare weather for December in Florence, Italy. In the North, in Liège, Belgium, stormy winds lashed cold rain down and blackened trees stood bleakly against a wintry grey sky.

The killers who woke up that morning in both cities were, however, oblivious to the weather conditions. Did they linger in bed for a moment, contemplating that this was their chosen last awakening in human form on Planet Life? Did they brush their teeth? What were the images of the victims that arose in their mind? These questions intrigue me as I cannot imagine the inhuman impulse that is pure evil and premeditated in cold blood.

In Liège the killer was Amrani, in Florence, Casseri.

Liège-killer was a known criminal who had been sentenced to 5 years in prison in 2008 for the illegal possession of rocket-launchers and other firearms. He was out on parole in  2010. He used grenades and guns to kill 5 yesterday including a baby 17 months who succumbed to injuries last night. They who died were white european people.

Florence-killer was a writer who lived alone in the Tuscan countryside but for some weeks had been in the city around where I live. He used a Smith and Wesson in Piazza Dalmazia. He killed 2 Senegalese men and maimed another Senegalese who willed be paralysed for life. This was at ten past noon. Later in the San Lorenzo market in the historic centre of Florence he would shoot two more Senegalese at 1500 hrs. They who died and were maimed were Senegalese men.

The Liège-killer is an insane fanatic killing in cold blood at random and with no racial problems cos he was on top of a bakery and shot into the crowd. The Florence-killer is a racist bastard who drove to the market, looked around, returned and shot the Senegalese targeting them in cold blood. His actions are now viewed in light of the immigrant policy and low-tolerance adopted by the State  for the past decade.

I do not know if there is much difference between the two killers. They both ended their life yesterday under sunny and stormy skies. They had no reason to celebrate Christmas this year. Their main interest was to kill, without mercy and without love for what life is worth.

I was at my kitchen table, writing for the web site i hoped would be a space for a new evolving Srilankanness, and i heard the shots like an explosion. Later on, I went for a walk collected my darling boy and went to a cafe in Piazza Tanucci just one piazza away from Dalmazia. I had an apple tart for lunch and a milk with choc powder on instead of cappuccino. Sitting with Rebecca and Jean, we discussed with comic irony how famously dangerous Sicilian towns and Napoli were ( Naples ) for violent robbery and so on. In Firenze, we mused, hardly that type of violence accompanies the show. I headed home. In half an hour, the killer who was planning the rest of his killing would strike again at San Lorenzo.

Would he have stopped for a cappuccino at Piazza Tanucci before ? I may have been the only coloured chick around at the time. I have no clue. Absurdly I remember telling Jean as I stood up to get my jacket on, that despite the reputation of Napoli, I think I would fare a bit better in Napoli with ma skin tone, and there were these Sri Lankan immigrants there who have invited me to see the Sinhala school… I guess I will be a bit camouflaged: Jean guffawed ! This is the reality of our world.

A toss of the dice, heads or tails, sun or storm, left or right. No reason nor rhyme.

In all those years when we left to work and you heard the muffled explosion in Colombo you thought, this time I was not in the wrong place. A young lovely Tamil lady living in the USA who was on her way to a friend’s wedding in another State, boarded a flight after commiserating with her mother on Sep, 11 2001 that the war in Sri Lanka would never cease and her poor mother wished her on her way with the glorious sarees she had bought for the occasion. The plane never reached its destination.

Today is a day of mourning in Florence and in Liège. I have lived in both countries 7 years in Belgium and 3 and a half here.

What is the use of labelling a killer ? Can you rationally find a motive for fanatacism? They both lived alone. This is where the hate-diatribes, living isolated lives and little community are threats to tolerant human peaceful coexistence.

It’s a black moment in our human evolution.


  1. How tragic! Xenophobia destroys self & society. Graphically poetic!

    • ‘Tis indeed EO. Nice to hav a journalist’s attention on a digital mom’s blog 😉 I’ve posted a slideshow… playing with the tools on wordpress … All these I took on my walks, they are not very pro but then…

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